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Merlin

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Another of the merlin with mush Wink

This time more of a rear view, which I like as it shows the feather detail. I love the metallic blue-grey colouring.

A few people lower down thanked me for the description, but apart from saying I was laying down to take this I did not say much else, so I'm adding a bit more detailed info in case anyone wants to recreate this look.

Basically the foreground blur is caused by elements, in this case grass, which is too close to the lens for it to focus on. Then by using the lens wide open, in this case f4 the DOF is very shallow such that the background also blurs significantly. The key is the focus point, in this case the eye.

The difficulty is getting enough foreground elements to blur, but not so much that it obscures the subject. It works best with natural elements, so in this case a slight bank of grass in front of the bird, and I mean slight, only a rise of 4-6 inches. You can try to fake it by obscuring the lens with a handful of grass, but it does not work in quite the same way and tends to obscure the subject a lot more.

If you want to try this look for yourself one of the easiest ways is to plant a long thin container with grass seed, and wait until the grass is 3-4 inches high. Then place this a few inches in front of your lens with the composition of choice behind. It will help ypu learn about the effect and to begin to compose in this style.

If you do try this in the field, so to speak, an angle finder can be a real plus, especially if you wear glasses.

HTH (I'll post a similar description on the next upload of this style as I know not many people may revisit this one)

Camera:Nikon D3 Check out Nikon Nation!
Lens:500mm
Recording media:RAW (digital)
Title:Merlin
Username:csurry csurry
Uploaded:26 Feb 2010 - 6:29 PM
Tags:Pets / captive animals
VS Mode Rating 101 (66.67% won)
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Votes:55

Comments

Shroomer
Shroomer  7 England167 Constructive Critique Points
26 Feb 2010 - 6:33 PM

Oh Boy that certainly stands out well from the fg and bg Cheryl. Superb detail and eye and love the low pov
Richard
Bet your glad your not still in Scotland

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STUARTHILL758
26 Feb 2010 - 6:36 PM

a great capture sharp as a pin

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BrianSS
BrianSS  7275 forum posts England34 Constructive Critique Points
26 Feb 2010 - 6:37 PM

Superb, absolutely superb . . . . . spot on DOF.

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WindowonWildlife
WindowonWildlife e2 Member 4WindowonWildlife vcard United Kingdom4 Constructive Critique Points
26 Feb 2010 - 6:42 PM

Hi Cheryl,
Your PF is quite simply superb & consists of some of the best and varied wildlife captures I have ever had the privilege of viewing.This image is no exception,a fantastic 1st class capture in every way !! Gets my vote all the way.....

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Paul_R
Paul_R  5 England2 Constructive Critique Points
26 Feb 2010 - 6:45 PM

Stunning. Paul

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edrhodes
edrhodes  9514 forum posts United Kingdom12 Constructive Critique Points
26 Feb 2010 - 6:49 PM

Class............

Ed..

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Charlesmoss
26 Feb 2010 - 6:49 PM

Wonderful low pov pin sharp detail and great colour. Fantastic take
Regards Charles

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Stuart_B
Stuart_B  5 England
26 Feb 2010 - 6:52 PM

Excellent capture!

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LukeParkinson
26 Feb 2010 - 6:54 PM

Very good capture Cheryl. Very well done

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TonyDy
TonyDy e2 Member 5TonyDy vcard United Kingdom
26 Feb 2010 - 6:59 PM

Great shot, well captured.
Tony

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csurry
csurry  129230 forum posts92 Constructive Critique Points
26 Feb 2010 - 7:06 PM

Thanks all.

Thanks QfQ for the award, most appreciated, and for the kind words. I am lucky to have some of the opportunities for images, but some of it is also down to the hard work of others. This shot for instance was conceived by Pete Cairns (actually taken on the football pitch behind his house) and it then needs the co-operation of bird and faconer. Having been presented an opportunity it is about making the most of it, which this shot I think has achieved.

Even though captive it is not the easiest shot for me to get, as I wear glasses laying down on the ground and trying to see through the viewfinder is not easy. The glasses tend to skew and make focussing and composition difficult. I do have an angle finder, but did not have it with me at the time.

The blue-grey colour always reminds me of armour on a knight, kind of apt with a Merlin Smile

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Paintman
Paintman e2 Member 7789 forum postsPaintman vcard United Kingdom171 Constructive Critique Points
26 Feb 2010 - 7:09 PM

I could tell from the thumbnail this was yours. It has your stamp of quality all over it. A superb image.

Alan.

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Vince_S
Vince_S  4 England
26 Feb 2010 - 7:15 PM

Fantastic shot. Even though other people help it is still the person behind the lens who controls what comes out of the camers.
Vince

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tomcat
tomcat e2 Member 85742 forum poststomcat vcard United Kingdom15 Constructive Critique Points
26 Feb 2010 - 7:37 PM

your images are always top class Cheryl, but this is one is exceptional.
The feather colour is a sight to behold

Adrian

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shandoor
shandoor  5 United Kingdom1 Constructive Critique Points
26 Feb 2010 - 8:51 PM

Wow another top class image congrats one to be very proud of
Alexa

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Mari
Mari e2 Member 101825 forum postsMari vcard Wales
26 Feb 2010 - 8:54 PM

Fantastic mush Cheryl Wink

Mari

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teocali
teocali e2 Member 6191 forum poststeocali vcard England18 Constructive Critique Points
26 Feb 2010 - 9:36 PM

Wonderful image - the magic of Merlin! Incredible detail, light and tones and composed to perfection. Loved your description of how the shot was achieved.
Sylvia

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HenB
HenB  5
26 Feb 2010 - 9:58 PM

Beautiful image and i,m jealous of the opertunities you talk about.
Harry

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bfgstew
bfgstew  7668 forum posts England105 Constructive Critique Points
26 Feb 2010 - 10:09 PM

One for the shortlist Cheryl, simply stunning.
Stewart

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EMJAYCEE
EMJAYCEE e2 Member 4EMJAYCEE vcard England9 Constructive Critique Points
26 Feb 2010 - 10:18 PM

First class image.
Joan.

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tigertot
tigertot  1136 forum posts England
26 Feb 2010 - 10:50 PM

Awesome shot Cheryl, I love the colouring in this, and thanks for the description, always helpful to those of us learning!

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franken
franken e2 Member 112913 forum postsfranken vcard Wales4 Constructive Critique Points
27 Feb 2010 - 8:58 AM

Superb!

Ken

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csurry
csurry  129230 forum posts92 Constructive Critique Points
27 Feb 2010 - 9:14 AM

Thanks all. Not sure if everyone knows how this effect is actually achieved so I'll add a proper description in the box at the top.

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James_C
James_C  436 forum posts United Kingdom56 Constructive Critique Points
27 Feb 2010 - 9:29 AM

Lovely picture Cheryl and thanks for the most informative explanation of your technique.

James

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motorsportpictures

Fantastic shot, awesome photograph./

Scott

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